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Archive for November, 2012

Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

November 30 – Deuteronomy 24, Micah 6, 2 Chronicles 10-11, Revelation 3

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Micah 6
  • God doesn’t simply want outward religious traditions if we are not reflecting His character from the heart
  • Verses 6-8 are clear that God does not delight in burnt offerings (even if they meet his external qualifications) IF their lives are filled with sin
  • God has revealed what is good: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God

How Points to Christ

  • True justice can only be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • If we simply do social justice, without making sure people deal with the justice of God against sin, people are lost and without hope
  • True kindness can only be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • If we give people simply earthly kind gifts, without telling them of the kindness of the Lord in Christ, we’ve missed it
  • Similarly, true humility can only be found in the Gospel
  • Only Christ was humble, and we need His humble death on our behalf

Apply

  • In Christ, we can begin to overflow with true justice, kindness, and humility
  • Please pray that I would grow in these areas
  • Please pray that the character of God and the glory of the Gospel would be displayed as I, and the church, seek to display these things to this dying world

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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Operation World. and Joshua Project!

Unreached of the Day photo
Please pray for the …

Population: 7,489,000

Language: Hindi

Religion: Hinduism

Evangelical: 0.00%

For more details…

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In just the past few weeks, there have been several articles about Oakland that I read that caused me to pause and reflect on life as a married man with two young children and a third on a way.

This article talks about the sad and low clearance rate for murders in Oakland, where many murderers are not caught, and even if they are caught, they are not convicted, and they are free to murder again.

This article talks about the uptick in crime just recently in Oakland, especially in murders and shootings.

This article talks about how the police force in Oakland is decreasing and therefore other crime is rapidly increasingly, such as a 43% increase of other crimes from last year.

As I read these articles and reflected on life in Oakland, CA, I became more and more convinced why God sovereignly led our family to this place.  Just 5-6 years ago, Oakland was nowhere on my radar, and through many unforeseen and unexpected things, God moved me to Oakland, and God planted me as a lead pastor and church planter of a church plant in Oakland.

Why?  Because of those types of articles about Oakland.  Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ AND God’s people being in the world, loving people, praying, and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others will there be any hope for change.    The problem does include systems and politics.  But at the heart of things, the problem is people and their sinful hearts.  Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change people from within.

These articles are reasons why we are here on purpose.

Would you consider moving to Oakland on purpose to bring the only hope and comfort of the Gospel in the midst of so much brokenness and sin?

 

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

November 29 –  Psalm 139, Micah 5, 2 Chronicles 9, Revelation 2

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Psalm 139
  • God is everywhere
  • But, God is also here
  • God is above all and sees all
  • But, God is also present in the nitty-gritty details of life, my life, each person’s individual, personal life
  • God searches and knows our hearts
  • God knows our paths
  • Even before we speak a word, God knows it
  • God is with us wherever and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves
  • Even the darkest nights and trials are not dark to God
  • God formed us from conception – we are precious in His sight
  • God knows us and cares for us

How Points to Christ

  • God knew us so well, especially our sinful hearts, knowing that unless He provided Jesus Christ, there would be no way for any sinner to be reconciled to Him
  • No sinner wants God unless God draws him
  • God can be ever-present with humanity without destroying them in His holy opposition to sin all because of what Jesus accomplished in the Gospel

Apply

  • What a powerful Psalm to combat loneliness and depression!
  • What a powerful Psalm to combat worry and anxiety!
  • What a powerful Psalm to combat those times when we just don’t know what is going on and what to pray!
  • What a powerful Psalm when we are uncertain about our direction in life!
  • God is there.  God knows.  And God desires the best of His people
  • Please pray that I would remember and fight to believe these truths

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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Operation World. and Joshua Project!

Unreached of the Day photo
Please pray for the …

Population: 8,000

Language: Aweer

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.30%

For more details…

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

November 28 –  Psalm 137-138, Micah 4, 2 Chronicles 8, Revelation 1

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Revelation 1
  • God is ALL in ALL
  • God is the only One utterly transcendent, infinitely greater and above all of creation
  • Three times in Revelation 1, we see the eternal glory of God
  • God is the one who was, who is, and who is to come
  • God is the first and the last
  • God is the Alpha and the Omega
  • This is mind-boggling
  • If we even caught a glimpse of this eternal, supreme glory of God, we would respond the way John did in verse 17 – when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead
  • His majesty is too great

How Points to Christ

  • But, John was preserved and called to write the book of Revelation because right after John falls down as though dead, the one John saw takes him by the hand and says “Fear Not, I am the first and the last.”
  • “I am the living one who died, and behold I am alive forever”
  • Sinners before a holy, eternal, God, the Alpha and the Omega, can live only because God the Son died the death we deserve and resurrected in victory

Apply

  • Please pray that my life would be filled with increasingly awe at the glory and greatness of God
  • Please pray that I would regularly rejoice and praise God and give thanks for the One who gives me life through His death
  • And please pray that I would joyfully tell the nations of the only Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the one the entire universe revolves around

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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Operation World. and Joshua Project!

Unreached of the Day photo
Please pray for the …

Population: 689,000

Language: Tibetan, Central

Religion: Buddhism

Evangelical: 0.00%

For more details…

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